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Devarim

  • Devarim 2020

    In this week's Torah portion, we start the 5th and final book of Devarim. We are truly in the run up to Rosh Hashana now ! Just 37 days before his death, Moses gathers the people and begins to retell the events of the 40 year journey from Egypt to the promised land. Moses is honest and rebukes the people for their failings and mistakes, and urges them to keep the laws of the Torah when they enter Israel - after his own death. When discussing the disastrous episode of agreeing to let spies go into the Land of Israel, Moses says that initially:

  • Devarim 2019

    The Power of Words

    The Sedra of Devarim is traditionally read on the Shabbat preceding the fast of Tisha B’Av which commemorates the tragic destruction of both Temples. But what could be the connection between them?

    Rabbi Ozer Alport of Aish America tells a story - one day two friends meet on the bus. In the course of their conversation, one of them casually mentions the name of a mutual acquaintance. The other replies, “You didn’t hear? She’s just got engaged, last week, to so-and-so!

  • Devarim 2018

    One of the goals of storytelling is to convey a narrative that endures beyond the initial story - to create something that lingers in the minds of listeners long after it has been told. In this sedra, Moses is a storyteller, transmitting the stories that took place during the 40 years in the desert. Moses is speaking to the Israelites as they make their final preparations for entering Israel. But on a deeper level, Moses, the storyteller, speaks to all of us.

  • Devarim 5777

    This week’s sedra is the beginning of Moshe’s final speech to Bnei Yisrael in the desert, prior to his demise. In this parsha, we read of a number of sins that the Jews committed in their 40 years of wandering, and Moshe’s rebuke to them. However, a number of these sins were committed in the first few years in the desert (the golden calf, the 10 spies etc), so why was Moshe just rebuking them now?

  • Devarim 2014

    The book of Devarim is known in English as Deuteronomy from the Greek deuteros nomos, or "second law" -- itself a translation of the early rabbinic name for the book, namely Mishneh Torah.

  • Devarim 5773

    Today we begin the last book of the Torah.  The Rabbis, who fixed the Sedarot, planned the order of reading very carefully, so that this Sidra always falls before Tisha Be’av. This is most appropriate, since it contains the verse which begins with the word , Eichah. This is the opening word of the Scroll of  Lamentations which we read in the evening, as Tisha b’Av comes in. The word EICHAH, which literally means HOW, has become the biblical exclamation, denoting  distress and despair.

  • Devarim 5772

    This Shabbat has a special name: Shabbat Chazon.  It always precedes the Fast of the Ninth of Av and the name is based on the first word of the Haftarah which means THE VISION. It contains Isaiah's prophecy in which he warned Israel about the forthcoming catastrophe that was waiting to happen to the Kingdom of Judah. It is the third Haftarah which focuses on the destruction of Jerusalem at various critical periods during the time of the First Temple in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE.

  • Devarim 2012`

    The book of Devarim is known in English as Deuteronomy from the Greek deuteros nomos, or "second law" -- itself a translation of the early rabbinic name for the book, namely Mishneh Torah.

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